From time to time, my career in the academia reminds me of my grandmother's cooking. She has the ability to make strange mixture of random ingredients come together and make for a delicious dish. On several occasions when I asked my grandmother how this phenomenon occurs, she lowered her voice and said, "There is a secret ingredient."
I am a self-acknowledged, self-confessed, self-help junkie. And like any self-help junkie worth her salt, I love a good quote. This week I came across one I reckoned you really ought to know about. "Character is the ability to follow through on a commitment after the initial enthusiasm has passed." Nifty, huh?
So you nervously lined up at the start of a race this weekend eyeing up your competitors, checking to see if there is anyone of a similar build to you in what I like to call the Fat Runner Scan. You know for sure you won't win but for goodness sake don't let me come last you say to yourself, as you move towards the middle of the starting field in a final attempt to avoid the dreaded last place spot.
It's tough, sometimes gruelling, but I've discovered the harder you push yourself, the greater the high and sense of achievement afterwards. Oh, and the stomach definition post-two children is definitely worth all those body-shaking planks. When it's raining, cold, you're tired, I know all too well how hard it is to motivate yourself.
The emotions of want are heavily related to the emotions of connection, the more we are able to connect with others the less likely we are going to stand out and be alone - sadly this fake reality is something most will live up to, often failing to live life by their own consciously aware path, but more-so to comply with another's ideal of how life should be designed and lived.
When we put ourselves down by comparing ourselves to others, it chips away at our self belief, making us believe that we are not good enough or that we will never succeed. We hold on to that belief and it becomes a self fulfilling prophecy because we then lack the confidence to do the things that will bring us the success that we crave.
I stand on stage as many as 80 times a year with audiences as big as a 1,000 and as small as half a dozen. The great and the good, the serious and the less so listening intently often making copious notes, the subject could be anything from Corporate Governance to Corporate Finance or even an insight into my so called success...
I used to genuinely believe that being happy came from having money, being slim, being in love, but I found out that was SO not the case. Happy people are not always free of doubt, on the contrary, as they do not claim to be perfect, but here's the thing they have a different mindset to other people.
If you are not living the life you want to be living, then firstly get rid of the idea you can't as generally the biggest obstacle is your mind set, so that has to be changed. The best way to measure success is by your own happiness and if you are not happy take a look at why and how you can begin to make changes.
Over the years I have done extensive research, read endless authorised biographies, studied body language and carefully observed the communications skills of highly successful people. I learnt it wasn't about luck but about choosing the right attitude, taking action, changing behaviour, taking one step at a time, one goal, one priority at a time, a day at a time.